Trivago sees the travel market return to mostly ‘normal’ from mid-2022

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With the exception of business travel, Trivago officials have argued that travel will return to some semblance of normalcy by spring or next summer. It would be great for Trivago, but none of this is guaranteed.

Dennis schaal

Divination, given the bumps in the pandemic, is overrated, but after seeing some recovery during peak summer travel season, Trivago officials envision a return to some sense of normalcy in travel from the middle of next year.

“And while the pandemic is not yet over, it looks like things are slowly returning to normal,” Trivago CEO Axel Hefer told investors on Monday during the third quarter earnings discussion. “In Europe and the Americas, most travel restrictions have been lifted.”

Moving on to the big debate over whether travelers will avoid cities to some extent in the future, Hefer added: “significant opportunities” in 2022.

For the third quarter, which ended September 30, Trivago reported net profit of 5.5 million euros ($ 6.36 million), reversing a loss of 2.3 million euros (2 , $ 6 million) a year earlier. Revenue jumped 129% to 138.6 million euros ($ 160.6 million). It exceeded analysts’ expectations.

Trivago saw a significant recovery in travel in the third quarter, its peak travel season, particularly in Europe and the Americas, but its “rest of the world” segment, including Asia and Australia, was very weak. the train.

In addition to focusing on improving the conversion of internet users into consumers clicking ads and making reservations, the company said it is focusing on its travel inspiration product, as well as the type of partnerships business-to-business that it announced last week with China’s Huawei.

While testing this travel-inspired product, Trivago is testing train-hotel packages in Germany, Trivago-branded tours and activities in the UK in partnership with Musement, and flight-hotel packages in the US. All of these are relatively new to Trivago, which has been primarily a travel search engine rather than an online travel agency handling bookings.

Hefer said the focus in working on these new offerings is to perfect the products, not to seek mass adoption by customers. It would be hoped later.

While during the pandemic, Trivago first saw the return of travel from friends and family, and then some pleasure travel, he said there had been some hesitation about city travel, where Trivago traditionally earns most of its money. After all, many attractions in urban areas had been closed.

In the second half of 2022 in major markets, “we expect normal travel behavior from the leisure side,” Hefer said, acknowledging that the exact timing is difficult to predict. “Business travel will still be a bit different, obviously. “

In an interview after the call for results, Hefer declined to identify some of the business-to-business partnerships that Trivago has underway, but he said some involved businesses related to travel or events where customers are. price conscious. In these partnerships, integrating with a meta-search company like Trivago, which allows consumers to compare prices from many sources, might make more sense than partnering with a traditional online travel agency.

The partnership with Huawei, in which Trivago powers the telecom company’s hotel search, uses a revenue-sharing model, Hefer added.

Willie R. Golden